Apple Thyme Shrub Cocktail

I flick apples in the produce section. I get the occasional eyebrow raise my direction, but I always end up with the crunchiest, crispest apples. The higher pitch the apple makes, the crunchier the fruit. I don’t compromise here, so I’ll happily endure the raised eyebrows. A good fall apple should be bright in flavor and almost brittle like kettle-cooked potato chips.

Apple thyme shrub cocktail

Apples bring back a flood of memories of gallivanting through an apple orchard in Virginia with my family and our close family friends. The rows were littered with half-eaten apples discarded only to sample another variety until our bellies could fit no more….that is, until we were presented with hot apple fritters and fresh-pressed apple cider back at the farm store.

I recently concocted a drink that captures that sweet, bright, tart burst of flavor in an autumn apple. The trick? Shrub. (Not familiar with shrubs – check these guys out.) The shrub factor brings sweetened fruit and vinegar into the equation, creating that prefect flavor balance you find in a good apple. I punched my cocktail up with some fresh thyme, gin, apple cider vinegar, and pippin apples. If you’re scared, don’t be. I was, but you shouldn’t be. I promise, it will all come together in perfect harmony. This cocktail is a game changer.

Apple spritzer

Apple Thyme Shrub Cocktail

  • Servings: one cocktail
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 3 ounces gin or vodka
  • 1 ounce Pippin Apple simple syrup
  • ¾ ounce unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • Big pinch of thyme leaves, crushed
  • Splash sparkling water
  • Sprig of thyme for garnish

For the apple simple syrup:

In a small pot, bring to boil 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and 2 apples, sliced. (Pippin, Granny Smith, or other tart apples work well.) Boil the mixture for one minute with the lid on; simmer for five minutes; let stand off the heat until it cools.

For the cocktail:

Combine the gin, simple syrup, vinegar, and thyme leaves in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake for a minute until it’s cold. Pour into a glass with ice. Top with a splash of sparkling water and garnish with a sprig of thyme and/or an apple slice. Enjoy!

And if you’re in need for more fall recipe ideas, check out Fiesta Friday.


14 thoughts on “Apple Thyme Shrub Cocktail

  1. So many tasty apple dishes at the fiesta this week, and I love that you brought a cocktail. I definitely want to give this a try! Happy FF, and I hope you have a marvelous weekend. :)

      • But I’m not that fussy, really – I take whatever apple I can get my hands on! When I was a kid we had a James Greve tree in the garden which produced the most amazing apples, not too sweet, not too sour. I guess it’s been downhill from there …

  2. Pingback: Strawberry Coriander Shrub Cocktail | the little artichoke

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